He said, “What for?”
I said, “No, not to cut the tree down, just to make them aware what the tree contains – the ghosts. I don’t think anybody will agree to cut it down unless you ask me to do it.” And of course he was reluctant to do that. So I said, “Okay, the tree will remain.”
And that tree remained while I was in the town. It was only when I left that my father managed to get a Mohammedan from another village to cut the tree down. But a strange thing happened: the tree was cut down – but because it may have grown again, and to remove it completely, he made a well in its place. But he suffered unnecessarily because the tree and its roots had gone so deep that they made the water as bitter as you can imagine. Nobody was ready to drink the water from that well.
When I finally came home I told my father, “You never listened to me. You destroyed a beautiful tree and created this ugly hole; and now what use is it? You wasted money in making the well and even you cannot drink the water.”
He said, “Perhaps once in a while you are right. I realize it, but nothing can be done now.”
He had to cover that well with stones. It is still there, covered. If you remove a few stones, just slabs, you will find the well. By this time the water will be really bitter. Why did I want to tell you this story? – because the tutor, on his first day, tried to impress me that he was a man of great courage, fearless, saying he did not believe in ghosts.
I said, “Really! You don’t believe in ghosts?”
He said, “Of course I don’t believe.” I could see he was already afraid when he said it.
I had said, “Believe it or not, but tonight I will introduce you.” I had never thought that the introduction would make the man simply disappear. What happened to him? Whenever I went to the town I always visited his house to inquire, “Has he come home yet?”
They said, “Why are you so interested in it? We have forgotten the whole idea of his coming.”
I said, “I cannot forget, because what I saw had such great beauty, and I was only introducing him to somebody.”
They said, “To whom?”
I said, “Just somebody, and I could not even finish the introduction. And,” I told his son, “what your father did was not at all gentlemanly: he just ran out of his pants.”
The wife, who was cooking something, laughed and she said, “I always used to tell him to hold his pants tight, but he would not listen. Now his pants are gone and so is he.”